Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy: Practical Tips for Staying Safe Online by Violet Blue

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy: Practical Tips for Staying Safe Online
by Violet Blue
No Starch Press. 2015
ISBN: 9781593276485
Grades 9 thru adult
I received a copy of this book from the publisher
This review reflects my opinion and not that of the Cybils YA Nonfiction Committee

Has your email, Twitter, Snapchat or other online account ever been hacked? Do you worry how easy your personal information - address, phone number, birthday, social security #  - is only a click away for anyone to find? If you feel overwhelmed with how to manage all your personal data, the this book is for you! Penned by Violet Blue, an award-winning author and investigative journalist, this tome offers tips to help keep your online self safe.

Though Blue states this book is for women, the information is spot on for anyone.

This book is packed with some serious self-defense moves. It’s designed to help you get organized so you can navigate the chaotic landscape of online privacy. You’ll learn how to look good to potential employers (or potential dates) safeguard your privacy from sleepy marketers, unethical megacorporations, scammers, stalkers, bullshit artists, and anyone who wants to silence women online.

Divided into ten chapters Blue explains the different ways you can define your boundaries. From email settings, social media and dating services to creating safe passwords for sites where credit card information is stored. Because of her background as a tech reporter, Blue is well aware of the growing phenomena of identity theft. She advices readers to regularly check their privacy settings every three months, and never save credit cards on online shopping sites like Amazon. Linking email accounts can be a disaster waiting to happen, as if always using the same prefix - vblue - for all your email addresses. To keep your passwords safe, never log in to any account using someone else's computer or smartphone.

Chapter four explains how to take charge if a situation arises where you’ve been hacked and your private content - swimsuit shots, selfies with cleavage - turns up all over the Internet. 

Blue’s writing is straightforward, blunt and to the point. She is passionate about making sure women take charge of their online information and urges them to understand the ramifications of what they put out there, especially on social media. Be vigilant. Those horror stories you read about could happen to you.

This isn’t a book filled with technical details of how to do this and that. Instead, Blue guides readers to outside resources, such as websites or software, that is helpful. There is a resource section, divided up by chapters, at the back of the book that is very thorough. 

The Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy would be a valued resource for Internet safety courses at high school and collages. 

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